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Wednesday, 4 December 1974
Page: 3092

Senator BROWN (VICTORIA) - My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. It follows the question asked of him by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Senator Greenwood. I ask: Is it not a fact that whilst the trade unions have played an important role in their quest to protect the environment and general quality of life in the working class area of Newport in Victoria, these same unions are simply spearheading a campaign on behalf of numerous environmental groups and people living in the immediate and surrounding area of the district in which the Victorian Government is insisting that a new power station be built?

Senator MURPHY -I am not aware of all the details of this Newport matter but I do know that many questions have been raised about the environment there, as they have about many other places. Curiously, the trade union movement has been in the forefront of the campaign in various cities to save the environment, especially in relation to projects like the Clutha project in New South Wales. I understand that some trade unions have complained that this should not have to be their role and that initiatives ought to have been taken in these areas long ago by governments. The Federal Government is, of course, moving strongly into the area. Bills on the environment are at present coming through this Parliament. The State governments have been laggardly in this respect. 1 think it is reasonable to expect that those governments- I am speaking particularly of the governments of the political colour of the Opposition- ought to be catching up with the world-wide movement directed towards preserving and improving our environment.

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